Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

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What Freirean Critical Pedagogy Says and Overlooks from a Durkheimian Perspective

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Abstract:  “Critical pedagogy” has become a prevalent grammar furthering the necessity of a change in pedagogy from a banking‐style to problem‐posing approach, which it argues will facilitate students’ development of independent values and equip them to lead the liberation of society from authoritarianism into democracy. To achieve this, classrooms need to serve as cultural forums, through which either engaged pedagogy or negotiated authority empowers teachers and students to engage in free dialogues that problematize school textbooks as “cultural politics.” This empowerment demands that teachers perform as transformative intellectuals, dedicating themselves to the amelioration of inequity in educational results by reconstructing new texts, making them more accessible to working‐class students. While these theoretical lexicons envision a new perspective for the “educational function,” alleviation of the phenomenon of cultural reproduction can only occur if critical pedagogists pay more attention to academic curricula. Student achievements in such curricula, which respond to the demands of the social division of labor, have a profound influence on their potential social mobility.

Keywords:  academic curriculum; educational inequity; emancipatory function; Freirean critical pedagogy; power relations; social mobility



© Tien-Hui Chiang. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.